April 03, 2014 Articles

Young Lawyer's Corner: Those Pesky Rules

Ensuring familiarity and compliance with the rules is one of the important and fundamental aspects of successful appellate advocacy.

By Anthony T. Eliseuson

One of the most important—if mundane—aspects of appellate practice is ensuring compliance with the rules. This includes both the federal or state rules of procedure and the specific rules and procedures of each appellate court. Even within the federal system, there is a wide variance in practice with each circuit having adopted its own circuit rules, many having substantive internal operating procedures that contain another body of procedural requirements, and still others adopting or endorsing style manuals indicating the circuit’s preferences for font size, style, and other details. Additionally, most courts have various non-codified preferences or pet peeves that only experienced counsel or former clerks are likely to know.

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